The first anniversary had just been a huge party. Skaara and some of the unmarried men had danced about their victory over the evil Ra and many young women found themselves asking permission of their families to wander to the edge of the firelight with their brave dancers.
The old men were telling the children what on Earth would have been ghost stories. Here though, it wasn't a serial killer with a hook, but Ra who was the bad guy. Daniel marvelled. The children weren't old enough to know all the possible horrors that Ra had visited through the millenia. And wasn't that a scary thought: one man living steeped in evil for millenia thanks to a high tech sarcophagus.
The women told the stories of their ancestors and their daily lives. The men told of small rebellions quelled by Ra with public executions and rivers of blood. Men and women forced to mine the Stargate mineral without food or water until they died, only to be brought back to life and killed by hard work over and over.
But they'd always had stories. Some were of Ra. Some were of men taken to be warriors and guards of the god. Those left behind told their stories so their memories were never forgotten. Some women were taken to be wives to the god. They too had their stories told, often by the husbands they had been stolen from.
Later when the youngest children were asleep and the young men and women had been separated by the young women's families, someone asked Daniel to tell the story of the men who came through the chappa'ai.
Daniel told of a world where Ra had been defeated, the chappa'ai buried. In that time millenia had passed, civilizations had fallen, religions had risen, and the wonder of uncovering the past had been discovered.
He spoke his adopted language fluently, capturing the nuances of tone and innuendo that made his tale of a far off world a true dream for his listeners. Daniel talked about the seeing the constellations and understanding the world address that brought him to this place, this life, this love.
When Jack O'Neill entered the picture Daniel called upon Skaara -- who did a mean impression of Jack O'Neill -- to fill in some of the story. Then Shaure corrected him about her role in the whole thing and everyone who'd had a part in the defeat of Ra told a bit. Daniel, Skaara, and Shaure spoke the most, but Daniel was aware of the power of remembrance to shape a community.
Not until dawn began to pink in the East, did the stories stop. People slept a little and napped in the afternoon and the celebration of memory continued for two more days. Story, song, and dance.
On the second anniversary of the victory over Ra, the celebrations were more muted. Shaure and Skaara had been taken by another monster who rivaled Ra, and Daniel, whom all had loved and valued for his knowledge, had returned with O'Neill through the chappa'ai to try to return those who were stolen.
The ghost stories were lighter and funnier because, with a real threat, no one wanted to frighten the children. But late in the evening, after the youngest were asleep, Kusuf began the story of Daniel who came from another world to help defeat the god Ra. And Tmrit who had been a friend to Shaure and nearly a good-daughter to Kusuf for her love of Skaara told the story of their loss. Others joined in remembering when Shaure's kindness, Skaara's humor, or Daniel's wisdom had touched their lives.
This year, at the end of the three days of celebration, the people of Abydos unburied the chappa'ai to see if Daniel returned.
There was hope on the third anniversary. O'Neill had come back with Daniel to remember the defeat of Ra. Ferretti had come for the first day and told of the deeds of Kawalski.
O'Neill told his story, the words sad as he remembered why he'd been willing to take the assignment that had first brought him to another world. He taught the people of Abydos the word "geek," and explained why Daniel had been one. As the story progressed, O'Neill's affection for Skaara shone through the telling. The affection was still there as he told of killing Skaara, of leaving Daniel for dead, of seeing Skaara -- no, Klorel -- arise from the sarcophagus.
Daniel's arm went around Jack's shoulder, and even Ferretti patted his back a couple of times.
Daniel's story began in his words and now included helping Shaure give birth to the child that should have been theirs. His love for her and her child, no matter its getting, was a firm undercurrent to his voice. O'Neill sat close to him on one side offering his support as Daniel's tale wound to its inconclusion. Shaure still had not been found.
Then Ferretti and O'Neill told the tale of Apophis. Daniel described helping the host to the next world.
The dancing and tale-telling went on for three days before O'Neill and Daniel returned through the chappa'ai.
There were no words for the sadness that Shaure's loss brought. After the funeral, Daniel promised his good-father to be back for the anniversary of Ra's defeat.
When he and Jack kept his promise, Skaara was with them. The celebration went on for three days and nights. And each night as the fire began to die down, a different part of the tale of Daniel and Kusuf's family was told.
This year one of the dances had Daniel as a character. He could tell from the glasses made out of wire. Jack was in there too, he thought, the hand gesture mimicing a lighter being his identifier. Skaara danced again, joy tempered by the pain of two years' imprisonment in his own mind.
Skaara left when Daniel and Jack did. His gate address took him to a world far from either the Tau'ri or his home as he sought to atone by helping the Tok'Ra.
Teal'c came the next year and added his words. A jaffa had rebelled against his god and all had changed. Skaara didn't come this year, but Tmrit and Kusuf told his story.
Daniel was beginning to notice the story groupings. The O'Neill stories were tales like Coyote or Raven. Jack was entering legend here as a trickster. Daniel noticed that his own stories, when told by others, centered around tales of wisdom and judgment.
He thought in time, Teal'c would be a Prometheus figure. Shaure was already becoming a sky goddess, her beauty legendary. He didn't want legends. Daniel remembered instead the laughter of a warm wife lying in his arms.
Kusuf spoke of the joy all felt at being free from Ra, and the sadness all knew from the others who came to take Ra's place: Heru'ur who tried to steal his grandchild, Apophis who had kidnapped his children, and Ammonet and Klorel who became their jailers.
For three days the old stories were told and danced and sung. How else could a community remember all those who came before?
General Hammond had been surprised that none of Doctor Jackson's teammates had requested leave along with him. Teal'c had gone the year before and Jack the two years prior to that. Major Carter had never gone, so he'd thought, maybe this year was her turn. Apparently not.
He called Daniel to his office and handed him the approved leave slip.
"We'll be leaving at 0200, son."
"I hope you don't mind, it's been a long time since I've seen Kusuf. What do I need to bring?"
Daniel gave him a list of things and told them how they should be packed for easy loading on a mastage.
Hammond was asked for stories of O'Neill and found himself telling about Jack taking that little Mirrin and teaching her and her people how to play. Later, they asked for a story about Teal'c, and he told of Teal'c's intimidating ways with the new recruits. When Daniel went to talk to Tmrit privately and give her a message from Skaara, everyone asked for a Daniel story.
Quietly as the embers died, George Hammond spoke of the young man who found a way to save both the Enkarans and the Gadmeer. Daniel listened to the tale; he'd come back soon after General Hammond had started. He remembered the fear he'd felt as he went back up to the Gadmeer ship: Fear for himself, for a civilization, for Jack who'd given the order and Sam who'd followed it.
Intellectually, he slotted these stories into the other tales that would be told of O'Neill, Teal'c, Shaure, Skaara, and himself.
At the end of three days, the welcoming ceremony for two five year old boys was held.
This ceremony was the first step away from childhood. At five, an Abydonian would begin to be given chores. They would be simple and heavily supervised, but this youngster was now part of the wider community because he had responsibilities, however small. One had been born on the day of Ra's defeat and been given the name Oneill, the other, born two days later was named Daniel.
Daniel saw them enter their community and thought he caught a glimmering of a tear in the general's eye. As they dialled the coordinates for home there was an unspoken agreement that neither of them would admit those tears to anyone on the other side of the stargate.
Sam came for the first time when Daniel was no longer there. She left after the first day, called back by a project that had gone wrong in her lab.
But she was the one who began the story of Daniel the ascended. Teal'c spoke of Daniel the hero who had saved an entire world at the cost of his life. Jack spoke of Daniel the man who loved life as Skaara leaned next to him to offer support.
There were many tears this year, but the stories all the way back to the oldest tales of Ra's deeds were once again repeated.
At the end of the three days, there were nearly a dozen children being admitted to the community. Many had asked to wait or have theirs early so they could have it witnessed by Daniel.
Jack noticed that this year's Oneill'e was a girl as was the Dan'yelle. Fortunately, Kawalski and Ferretti were both boys. The last little girl had been given a more traditional name, but seemed put out that she wasn't named for one of the community's heroes.
Daniel watched with Oma from a distance, and felt peace.
This year, on a world far from both Earth and Abydos, a campfire was dying down, and the marshmallows that Teal'c brought were being toasted. A year after his return to life, on the anniversary of the defeat of Ra, Daniel Jackson began the stories of his wife's people.
His friends listened.
|Summary:||Stories shared on Abydos|